June was all about shooting as much as I could. But July has been really busy so far. And although I can’t get the mic on my iPhone to pick up any shots with this app (I’m pretty sure it’s just the phone), I still found a use for it that I feel has significantly improved my draw and presentation over the past couple of months. Best of all: it’s something I’ve been doing at home via dry-fire practice on days I can’t make it to the range (like the past week+). Although the Surefire app isn’t on the Apple App Store any longer, there is another app called Free Shot Timer that has similar functionality (IE exactly the same). Or you might be like me and have three-year-old apps on your phone that you never use. If that’s the case, you probably need a new phone (also like me).
Using the par time feature on the Surefire Shot Timer app, I started really pushing myself on the draw each night after work, generally trying to draw and “fire” before the buzzer on a 1.5-second par time. The app has a “Start Delay” feature (also a random start delay) that gives me time to get ready, place my hands by my sides, and then draw as I would at a match when I hear the beep. I set that at 3 secs most of the time. It’s easy to use, and it has helped me speed my fundamentals up to a much more competitive point in a relatively short period of time. Although the app rarely picks up the “click” from the hammer dropping for an exact time (my phone doesn’t even pick up actual gunshots at the range), the par time buzzer lets me know whether or not I met my goal on a given repetition, and that’s all I really need for this type of practice. I aim at various lightswitches or records around my bedroom, and I’m always sure to start slow so that I know I’m doing it correctly before I speed up. (After all, reinforcing a bad habit at a high rate of speed isn’t going to help me very much in the long run…)
One word of caution: no matter who you are or how long you’ve been shooting, PLEASE be sure to check and double check that your pistol is empty prior to beginning this drill. You can even triple check if you want to. Complacency breeds mistakes, and mistakes with a loaded firearm are a very, very bad thing. Logic like “If it’s in the safe, it’s unloaded” leads to embarassing events at the very least, and tragic news stories as a worst case scenario. Lots of cool stuff on the way once I get back to the range, but in the meantime, this drill is a great training aid for those of you who are having a busy week but don’t want to get rusty. HP